By Lydia Geisel

Kirsten Blazek’s ranch-style home in Pasadena, California, used to be the definition of vanilla. But the bland white exterior and granny interior (the space had barely been touched since it was built in the 1950s) worked in her favor when she purchased the place in late 2017. “It was nondescript. Luckily it didn’t really get a lot of attention,” says Blazek, the founder and creative director of design firm A 1000x Better. She started construction the day she and her family moved in, aiming to stick to a tight four-and-a-half-month timeline. Given that a few key changes she wanted to make—such as vaulting the ceilings in the family room, turning the dining room into a bedroom, revamping the landscaping, and transforming the basement into a recording studio—were, she jokes, “actually a little insane,” she pulled it off.

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